This nonjudgmental, inclusive, and far-reaching text focuses on the diverse patterns of family structure prevalent in our society today. Family Diversity presents empirical research on the internal dynamics, social environments, support factors, prevalence of discrimination, and common stereotypes that account for the issues surrounding current family relations. By examining the history and nature of foster and adoptive, single-parent, lesbian/gay, step- and grandparent family units, Pauline Irit Erera is able to challenge both the idealized family prototype and the hegemony of the traditional structure. 

Grandmother-Headed Families

Grandmother-headed families

This chapter examines caregiving in skipped-generation families—families in which grandchildren live with one or more grandparents in the absence of the parents. The chapter focuses on grandmother-headed rather than on grandparent-headed families. Although 76% of grandparent-headed families are married (Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000), and though grandfathers, too, are involved in raising grandchildren, grandfathers usually do so as secondary caregivers who share caregiving with the grandmothers (Chaîne, 1994; Dressel & Barnhill, 1994; Fuller-Thomson, Minkler, & Driver, 1997). Use of the gender-neutral term grandparent obscures the critical role of gender in understanding these families.

Prevalence and Demographic Characteristics of the Grandmother-Headed Family

A recent and significant development in women's caregiving has been the rapid increase in the number of grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren. About ...

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